US: BlueNalu secures $60m in convertible note financing

Debt financing round led by Rage Capital gives the cell-based seafood start-up a cash injection to complete commercial pilot facility in San Diego
BlueNalu's CEO Lou Cooperhouse in front a a render of the corporate building
Photo as seen on BlueNalu’s Twitter feed

Cell-based seafood start-up BlueNalu has secured $60 million in debt financing from new and existing investors. The cash injection marks the largest financing to date in the cell-based seafood industry worldwide.

The financing is intended to enable BlueNalu to achieve several significant milestones over the coming year, including opening a nearly 40,000 square foot pilot production facility, completing FDA regulatory review for its first products, and initiating marketplace testing at foodservice establishments throughout the US.

“The team at BlueNalu is driven to produce cell-based seafood products that are healthy for consumers, humane for animals, sustainable for our planet, and provide increased food security to each nation in which we go to market,” said Lou Cooperhouse, BlueNalu’s president and chief executive.

Cooperhouse explained that as the company makes progress in its commercialisation plans, it continues to develop strategic global partnerships.

Go-to-market plans

BlueNalu plans to introduce a wide variety of cell-based seafood products from its pilot production facility in San Diego. The company anticipates starting with the launch of mahi mahi later this year, followed by the launch of a premium bluefin tuna thereafter.

Amir Feder, chief financial officer of BlueNalu, argued that the global seafood market is highly vulnerable today and valued at an estimated $200 billion. “With strong investor support, our innovative and visionary management team demonstrates a clear value proposition, technology, IP, and a comprehensive regulatory strategy, all of which provide a solid foundation as we move closer to our in-market launch.”

BlueNalu is establishing joint venture partnerships within key markets where it will operate. These partnerships could enable the business to navigate regulatory pathways, lower the cost of goods, introduce new species and new product forms, and inform their global market strategy.

Currently, the start-up has five global strategic investment partners, including Nutreco, based in the Netherlands; Pulmuone, based in South Korea; Sumitomo, based in Japan; and Griffith Foods and Rich Products Corporation, based in the US.

Rage Capital led the $60 million convertible note financing, and other significant participants include Agronomics, Lewis & Clark AgriFood, McWin, and Siddhi Capital. Strategic investors in this financing include Radicle Growth, by way of the Radicle Protein Challenge by Syngenta; Rich Products Corporation; and Thai Union.

A partial list of other investors includes: AiiM Partners, Clear Current Capital, CPT Capital, Flat World Partners, KBW Ventures, Losa Group, OurCrowd, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Stray Dog Ventures.